SACRAMENTO, Calif. — About 36% of Californian voters support recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom, which remains unchanged since January, according to a poll conducted by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS).
IGS Co-Director Eric Schickler says Newsom is heading into the special election in better shape due to the absence of a compelling Republican alternative. However, the low interest of Democratic voters and many undecided voters could be some warning signs for the embattled governor.
The poll shows that few voters are willing to back the four Republican candidates who declared their intention to campaign against Newsom.
The two leading candidates, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and gubernatorial candidate Jon Cox, both have 22% of voters saying they are considering voting for them as Newsom's replacement.
Most of their support comes from Republican voters to almost twice as many general voters indicated they are not inclined to vote for either candidate. About 30% did not have an opinion.
Most Republican Congressman Doug Ose's support comes from Republican voters, with about 33% saying they are backing his candidacy, 48% of voters say they will vote for him, while 33% had no opinion.
Caitlyn Jenner is so far doing the worst in the polls, with only 6% of voters saying they would back her in the election, 76% saying they will not vote for her and 18% had no opinion.
While the California Democratic Party made it clear they intend to stand by Newsom by not having any other candidates running in the special election, a majority of Democrats are in favor of voting for a Democrat candidate if they have to vote for a replacement.
While party lines influence how Californians are expected to vote on whether to remove Newsom, with 75% of Republicans to 36% Democrats, which region voters are from are also factors that impact their decision.
Voters living in urban cities like San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County are more likely to vote against the recall to about two-to-one in contrast to those living in rural areas like the Central Valley are more likely in favor of removing Newsom.
Newsom's performance ratings improved from what they were from three months ago, with voters evenly divided with how they viewed the governor's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Newsom now has 52% voters who approve, with 43% disapprove.